Graffiti: A Beautiful “Crime”

Graffiti: A Beautiful Crime is an article of art genre written by Linda Ngo (11 April 2017). Ngo claims that in her essay that freedom of expression is a factor that has to be enjoyed by every person. She ascertains that this valuable right gives people the opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions through directly or indirectly means. She elucidates that visual art or poetry is an indirect means which voices out the grievances of people. According to Ngo, graffiti has turned out to be one of the profound means used by people in order to express his or herself in the modern society. She states that this form of expression is termed to be illegal as many view it to be an act that represents vandalism as well as depicting an immoral behavior in the society. In this article, Ngo defends the idea of graffiti by stating that it is not in any way illegal.

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She uses various evidence to defend her position which supports that graffiti should be practiced as a way of practicing the freedom of speech and expression. She starts by mentioning that the Oxford Dictionary defines art to be the application of human creative skills and imagination generally in a visual form such as painting. Ngo, therefore, explains that graffiti is a way of expressing oneself. In fact, she further elucidates that since prehistoric period, graffiti was practiced by cave dwellers who drew pictures on cave walls in order to record history. Besides, Ngo goes further to suggest that the Bill of Rights sighed in 1976 were enacted in order to provide every person with the freedom of expression and this deserves to be protected. For this reason, the American Civil Liberties ascribe to the freedom of speech and the right to expression. Ngo also uses a student activist website where it is cited that many Americans love the constitutional amendments that provide every individual with equality. Thus, Ngo purposed to communicate that graffiti should not be considered as a form of vandalism because there is no deliberate damage of private property. People engage in graffiti in order to express their opinions and position.

Ngo’s audience are lawmakers who view graffiti to be an illegal and criminal activity that is punishable. Through this, she does not establishes a good relationship with these lawmakers who have remained to enforce graffiti to be a crime as she defends people who engage in the act. The history of graffiti has changed. It is crucial to note that the essay argues that graffiti has to be promoted in order to protect the Bill of Rights and the Civil Liberties. In fact, graffiti is considered to be a focal point in literary texts. Indeed, graffiti is a legitimate text, especially when looking for information about the class and social standards along with realities, anxieties, and emotions that are associated people.

According to the essay, graffiti art proves to have the ability to cause individuals consider issues in order to have the possibility of enacting positive changes and shared objectives in the society (Ngo 3). Evidently, the values that graffiti promotes is that it allows people to create identities from it and the graffiti texts reflect the class values and ideologies. The article indicates that graffiti is a form of art in which people express themselves and hence convey various messages to the intended people. She states that “graffiti should not be considered as vandalism” (Ngo 1). She poses a question that “how could make beautiful quotes and images destroy boring plain walls” (Ngo 1). This article shows that artists should be allowed to express their thoughts and public beliefs through engaging in graffiti. According to the article, this serves to avoid any violence and confrontations. Similarly, it airs out the social and political aspects of what is a good or wrong in the society.

After reading the essay, I cannot accept Ngo’s position concerning graffiti. She notes that this is a “beautiful crime” that has to be perpetrated in society. This arouses a feeling of annoyance and displeasure in her writing. When you walk on the streets of the city, it is evident that graffiti is an act of vandalism that violates laws causing property destruction. This is a misdemeanor that I think should be punishable by the law and does not need to be defended by any means. Certainly, it is a sign of criminal disorder contributing to undesirable gang activities that vandalize walls. The marking or painting of the walls without prior permission of the owner results is a violation of right, and this is unconstitutional. Ngo claims that graffiti is used to express the political and social message using art and poetry styles. On the contrary, this behavior is detrimental as it only destroys people’s properties. Notably, due to the culture of hip-hop, graffiti has evolved, and gangs used graffiti to mark their territories and thus to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities. This creates disagreement between the law officials and the graffiti individuals. Ngo’s position on this matter will only serve to spred graffiti on the city walls. As far as I am concerned, this act should remain to be considered as a crime and those who violate it have to be punished by the law.


Work Cited

Ngo Linda. Graffiti: A Beautiful Crime. New York.11 April 2017.